കഞ്ഞിമുക്കിയ ജീവിത പാഠങ്ങൾ

While in college, we thought we were learning some technical stuff. As if we will be able to change the world know how does a flip-flop start flipping. Or if we knew how to safely start and stop a DC motor. But sometimes its some silly things that come with great lessons for our life. Like the one below. I wrote the below in 2007 when the choices in front of me was not helping; when I realized what we wanted in life was not choices. Exactly what MACE taught us. Especially for us, Electronics batch, there was no real “Electives” – they were courses selected by the department with a pet name “Elective”. Did not mean anything more. And some of the lifestyle we enjoyed were exactly because of lack of choice.


At 12, it used to be the lunch break. A few of us will walk down the trail across the Ladies Hostel and downhill to the college junction. Across the bus workshop and behind the row of small shops, we would go to the shabby shop with two rows of desks put across each other. Most of the time, there is a wait time. For the maximum occupancy for Eliyas Chettan’s kanhikkada was only 8. So we would wait while Eliyas Chettan serves the kanhi and keeps it ready to cool down to what he calls “room temperature” There was nothing to be separately ordered – for most days. Some days he will have special beef fry or mathi (iwashi) fry or some bigger fish.

Know what I am reading now? Vaccum cleaner reviews. I want a vaccum cleaner. Back in India, I would have called up Eureka Forbes. Or would have gone to a shop and would have looked around for options. Done. Here in this world of market economy where consumer is supposed to rule the world, I am struggling. There are so many models around. Upright, stick type, bagless, cannister and so many companies. Prices range from $40 to $500. They vary from shop to shop. Some online shops give you good discounts. Then they charge you for delivery and or installation separately. You never get a full picture. There is always a dark hole that you never know exists.

Same with car. New car? So many dealers selling the same car. Call up all dealers, ask for quote, bargain, get the best deal. Easy. Then there are certain things they did not tell you. Destination charges, taxes, dealer option prices, documentation charges. Loans, fortunately I dont have a credit history yet and I am left with one choice. The Texans CU special deal. Thats good. Going for a used car at CarMax sounds better for me. No bargains, no hidden costs. Pay what they wrote and drive away. Anyway I have not decided. As ever, I am undecided. To decide or not, when to decide or not, I dont know. I am thoroughly confused.

I still doubt if it was wise to do a relocation such late in age. Man, I am so tired. Thank God, I have no decided on a house, almost decided on internet/phone/tv package. Wonder why none has an all inclusive package that covers everything that I wanted? There are many options here but in total what you get for what you pay is the same. Contents are the same in all these different boxes.

Who says consumer rules? This is a perfect place that proves monopoly need not mean just one company. Multiple companies can run a monopoly too.

Eliyas Chettan did not have a competition serving kanhi anywhere in the vicinity. But he did not run a monopoly. None of us were dying for kanhi too. But we did not have any issue. What we want is not too many choices. But one dependable solution.

Riyaz

4 Comments

  1. That’s a great write up. ..interesting perspective. Elias chettan could have easily hiked up the price and still would see line ups of Maceans. but he didn’t. That differentiate his business from the ‘packaged’ business deals you are looking at now Riyaz.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shymol. Please share any of your memories from college days with us too? Definitely we learned more outside the classrooms and labs than within!

      Like

  2. Very nice story and comparison. SOmetimes it is hard even to order a lunch at a fastfood store. There was some Ted talks also on the same subject. For instance in some countries when a dear and near one is facing a life threatening situation, relatives are asked what choice they want to follow.. Some countries, it will be decided by doctors who are experts.
    If the choice is ours and something goes wrong with the patient, imagine the mental burden we will carry. If it was decided by experts, at least we will have a relief blaming someone else or the fate!!
    I have no problem to choose between coke and fanta. But I do have when there is fresh lime juice, lemonade, solo,mountain fresh and so many different varieties of soda with sugar and lemon..
    Recently my cousin got married and they took a few days for all cloth shopping. So one of the older aunties were telling that for her wedding they went to the nearest town and there was only handful of shops. They went to one of them and they had 4-5 wedding sarees to choose from. It was so easy and quick.

    But now with million choices no wonder we are all ever more busy simply choosing itself.

    Liked by 2 people

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